Beowulf, Master of Grabs

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Beowulf, Master of Grabs: Fighter/Kensei/Ceaseless Guardian

 
 
This build uses the following sources:

AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
HotFK
- Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
MP
- Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3

Level 1 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Combat Feature: Combat Superiority (PHB)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Background: Auspicious Birth (D 366)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 20 (+5)
Constitution 12 (+1)
Dexterity 12 (+1)
Intelligence 8 (-1)
Wisdom 12 (+1)
Charisma 10 (+0)

HP: 40 --> 15 base, +20 Strength, +5 Toughness
Bloodied: 20 HP or less
Healing Surges: 10 --> 9 base, +1 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 10 HP

AC: 18 --> 10 base, +7 armor, +1 Brawler Style
Fortitude: 20 --> 10 base, +5 ability (Strength), +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +1 racial
Reflex: 12 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Dexterity), +1 racial
Will: 12 --> 10 base, +1 ability (Wisdom), +1 racial

Initiative: +1 --> +1 ability (Dexterity)

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Dual Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Funneling Flurry (MP)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Seize and Stab (MP 2)

Skills:
Athletics (+10) --> +5 ability (Strength), +5 trained
Endurance (+6) --> +1 ability (Constitution), +5 trained
Heal (+6) --> +1 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained
Intimidate (+5) --> +0 ability (Charisma), +5 trained

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Toughness (PHB)

Gear (Expected GP = 100):
Javelin (5) (PHB) (5 gp each, 25 total)
Scale armor (PHB) (45 gp)
Spiked gauntlet (2) (AV) (5 gp each, 10 gp total)
Standard adventurer's kit (PHB) (15 gp)
5 gp

Discussion:

The ability score array is absolutely key in the development of Beowulf. Strength gets cranked up as high as it can go (16 out of 22 points, for an 18 before racial modifier), because just about everything you do depends on that ability score, including your attack rolls, damage rolls, and your Fortitude defense, which is key to keep opponents from escaping your grabs. Constitution, Dexterity, and Wisdom share the rest of the points evenly (2 out of 22 points each, for a 12 before racial modifiers) for a host of reasons: Dexterity bolsters your Reflex defense and some secondary effects specific to the Brawler Style, Constitution toughens you up somewhat, and Wisdom enhances your Will defense, as well as the accuracy on your Opportunity Attacks.

One of the priorities for Beowulf is to make it as hard as possible to escape your grabs. To that end, you focus on improving your Fortitude defense as much as possible, then using the Inescapable Grab feat to make sure that all escape attempts have to go through there. After that, the Toughness feat makes you better able to absorb the attacks you are working so hard to direct towards you.

On the subject of powers, being Human gets you a nice toolbox to play with: Dual Strike provides a multimarking benefit, Grappling Strike is your bread-and-butter way to hold people down, and Knockdown Assault provides a change-of-pace option that will provide further use later on. Funneling Flurry gives you a multimark with some kick along with a slide, and Seize and Stab gives you a grab that is very hard to escape.


Level 2

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Brawler Guard (MP 2)
New Utility Power: Forceful Drag (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,920):
L2 (520 gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 1,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up some welcome extra AC in the Brawler Guard feat, a nice way to move grabbed opponents where you need them to go in the Forceful Drag power, and a full complement of magic items to buff your damage and defenses, as well as have a couple of emergency buttons to save yourself from a bad day.


Level 3

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Bull Charge (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,560):
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,240 gp

Discussion:
At this level, the Bull Charge power gives you a powerful option to start an encounter with. Additionally, you pick up the Casque of Tactics for some neat initiative.


Level 4

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (21), +1 Dexterity (13)
New Feat: Pin Down (D 368)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 3,200):
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 2,240 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up the Pin Down feat, which allows you to hold a grappled and prone opponent down (a nice complement to your powers that knock prone), and you put some points in Strength and Wisdom for future investment.


Level 5

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Rain of Steel (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,480):
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Dwarven Scale Armor (PHB)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 4,040 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you get a big offensive upgrade in the Rain of Steel Daily Stance (this power is even easier to use for you than it is for most other Fighters, because a target grabbed by you is not going anywhere), as well as the Iron Armbands of Power Arms Slot Item.


Level 6

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Master at Arms (HotFL)
New Utility Power: Glowering Threat (HotFL)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,400):
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp):
Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L2 (520 gp): +1 Cloak of Resistance (PHB)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 6,120 gp

Discussion:
At this point, Glowering Threat makes sure that enemies fixate on you and only you (at least for a turn), and the Master at Arms feat gives a welcome bonus to attack rolls. We also get some nice new armor here too.


Level 7

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Come and Get It (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 9,600):
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L1 (360 gp): +1 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
TOTAL: 9,000 gp

Changes:
At this level, one of the pillars of the class in Come and Get It is made available to you, and you upgrade your armor and Neck Slot Item to a Steadfast Amulet, which can protect you against daze or stun effects.


Level 8

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (22), +1 Wisdom (13)
New Feat: World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 12,800):
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): +2 Magic Spiked Gauntlets (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp):
Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 10,440 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you get another boost to Strength (and that one raises the modifier), as well as some investment in Wisdom. The World Serpent's Grasp feat gives you an easier way to knock grabbed enemies prone, and you also pick up a bit of extra damage by upgrading your Spiked Gauntlets.


Level 9

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Bare-Knuckled Rebuke (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 16,000):
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 12,840 gp

Discussion:
At this level, the Bare-Knuckled Rebuke power gives you a welcome option to reprise against enemies who decide to attack you (which is the ultimate goal, after all), and you pick up a very nice property for teleport-stuffing in the Feyslaughter Weapon.


Level 10

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Improved Grab (PHB 2)
New Utility Power: Body Shield (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 22,400):
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 22,040 gp

Discussion:
At this level, the Improved Grab feat makes a basic grab action a legitimate option, the Body Shield power gives you an out-of-turn grab that can even redirect damage coming at you, the Diamond Cincture gives you a bonus to your favorite defense (Fortitude), as well as an emergency healing power, and the Boots of Eagerness give you a neat mobility power.


Level 11 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Combat Feature: Combat Superiority (PHB)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Background: Auspicious Birth (D 366)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 23 (+6)
Constitution 13 (+1)
Dexterity 14 (+2)
Intelligence 9 (-1)
Wisdom 14 (+2)
Charisma 11 (+0)

HP: 108 --> 15 base, +60 levels, +23 Strength, +10 Toughness
Bloodied: 54 HP or less
Healing Surges: 10 --> 9 base, +1 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 27 HP

AC: 27 --> 10 base, +8 armor, +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +1 shield, +1 Brawler Style
Fortitude: 31 --> 10 base, +6 ability (Strength), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +2 class, +2 feat, +2 Brawler Style, +1 racial, +1 Diamond Cincture
Reflex: 23 --> 10 base, +2 ability (Dexterity), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +2 feat, +1 racial, +1 shield
Will: 22 --> 10 base, +2 ability (Wisdom), +5 levels, +2 enhancement, +2 feat, +1 racial

Initiative: +8 --> +2 ability (Dexterity), +5 levels, +1 item

Speed: 5 --> 6 base, -1 armor

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Dual Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L1 - Funneling Flurry (MP)
L3 - Bull Charge (MP 2)
L7 - Come and Get It (PHB)
L11 - Masterstroke (PHB)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Seize and Stab (MP 2)
L5 - Bare-Knuckled Rebuke (MP 2)
L5
- Rain of Steel (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Forceful Drag (MP 2)
L6 - Glowering Threat (HotFL)
L10 - Body Shield (MP 2)

Skills:
Athletics (+16) --> +6 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +5 levels
Endurance (+13) --> +1 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +5 levels, +2 item
Heal (+12) --> +2 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +5 levels
Intimidate (+10) --> +0 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +5 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Toughness (PHB)
L2 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L4 - Pin Down (D 368)
L6 - Master at Arms (HotFL)
L8 - World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK)
L10 - Improved Grab (PHB 2)
L11 - Improved Defenses (HotFL)

Changes:
+12 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (23), +1 Constitution (13), +1 Dexterity (14), +1 Intelligence (9), +1 Wisdom (14), +1 Charisma (11)
New Encounter Attack Power: Masterstroke (PHB)
New Feat: Paragon Defenses (PHB 2)
New Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 32,000):
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp):
Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L7 (2,600 gp): +2 Dwarven Drakescale Armor (PHB)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 30,440 gp

Discussion:
At this moment, you get some major upgrades. The ability score bonuses give you a bonus to your Reflex and Will defenses, the Kensei Paragon Path nets you a neat bonus to hit with your Spiked Gauntlets, and Improved Defenses gives you even more non-AC defenses.

As far as items are concerned, the Backlash Tattoo gives you an aggressive means of response when you get bloodied, and the Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade can help you yank enemies to you.


Level 12

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Persistent Threat (D 383)
New Utility Power: Ultimate Parry (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 48,000):
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L8 (3,400 gp): +2 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 40,840 gp

Discussion:
At this level, Persistent Threat gives you a way to do your job even when you get hammered by a deleterious effect, plus you get a neat armor boost and a nice defensive power in Ultimate Parry.


Level 13

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Bash and Pummel (MP 2) (replaces Funneling Flurry)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 64,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Boots of Eagerness (AV)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 63,440 gp

Discussion:
At this level, the sweet Bash and Pummel power adds a lot more condition-imposing power to your arsenal, and the Neck Slot Item keeps them from doing the same to you. Also, you pick up the Dice of Auspicious Fortune to have a neat way to defy probability.


Level 14

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (24), +1 Dexterity (15)
New Feat: Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 80,000):
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Forutne (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): +2 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 72,240 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you get a welcome AC boost in Armor Specialization (Scale), and a speed boost in the Battlestrider Greaves and the elimination of the speed penalty. Additionally, a Strength boost also nets you some increased competence.


Level 15

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Unyielding Avalanche (PHB) (replaces Rain of Steel)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 112,000):
L14 (21,000 gp): +3 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp):
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
L4 (840 gp): Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 102,040 gp

Discussion:
Here, we finally upgrade the Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets, and we also pick up a heck of an upgrade for Rain of Steel in Unyielding Avalanche, and the Stone of Earth gives you more ways to fiddle with your attack rolls.


Level 16

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Improved Initiative (PHB)
New Utility Power: Mighty Surge (D 379)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 160,000):
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp):
+3 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp):
+3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): +3 Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp):
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 147,200 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up a huge initiative bonus, courtesy of a Casque of Tactics upgrade and the Improved Initiative feat, Mighty Surge provides a quality self-healing power, and the Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor gives you the ability to reprise when bloodied.


Level 17

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Vicious Uppercut (MP 2) (replaces Bull Charge)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 240,000):
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor (PHB)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): +3 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L13 (17,000 gp): +3 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp):
Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp):
Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 199,200 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up the frankly incredible Vicious Uppercut power, which adds a stunning multiattack to your repertoire. You also upgrade your armor and pick up an emergency reroll in the Stone of Earth here.


Level 18

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (25), +1 Wisdom (15)
New Feat: Weapon Focus (Unarmed) (PHB)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 320,000):
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor (PHB)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): +3 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
L6 (1,800 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Heroic Tier) (AV)
TOTAL: 267,200 gp

Discussion:
Here, you put some investment in your Strength and Wisdom scores, you pick up a welcome damage bonus in Weapon Focus, and you upgrade your Neck Slot Item to make yourself even tougher to escape.


Level 19

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Power: Smash and Grab (replaces Bare-Knuckled Rebuke)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 400,000):
L19 (105,000 gp): +4 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L18 (85,000 gp):
+4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier) (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 394,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, Smash and Grab provides a mean Daily to sit down and pound your opponent with, and the Feyslaughter Gauntlets and Iron Ambands of Power upgrades add some more kick to your attacks.


Level 20

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Daily Attack Power: Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)
New Feat: Brutal Brawler (MP 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 560,000):
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L19 (105,000 gp):
+4 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L17 (65,000 gp): +4 Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor (PHB)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 519,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up some versatility in Weaponsoul Dance, as well as some extra inescapability via a Diamond Cincture upgrade and the Brutal Brawler feat.


Level 21 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Combat Feature: Combat Superiority (PHB)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian (D 387)
Background: Auspicious Birth (D 366)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 28 (+9)
Constitution 14 (+2)
Dexterity 16 (+3)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 16 (+3)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 178 --> 15 base, +120 levels, +28 Strength, +15 Toughness
Bloodied: 89 HP or less
Healing Surges: 11 --> 9 base, +2 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 44 HP

AC: 39 --> 10 base, +10 levels, +11 armor, +5 enhancement, +1 feat, +1 shield, +1 Brawler Style
Fortitude: 48 --> 10 base, +10 levels, +9 ability (Strength), +4 enhancement, +4 Epic Fortitude, +3 feat, +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +2 Diamond Cincture, +1 racial, +1 Nagascale Armor
Reflex: 32 --> 10 base, +10 levels, +3 ability (Dexterity), +4 enhancement, +3 feat, +1 racial, +1 shield
Will: 31 --> 10 base, +10 levels, +3 ability (Wisdom), +4 enhancement, +3 feat, +1 racial

Initiative: +23 --> +3 ability (Dexterity), +10 levels, +8 feat, +2 item

Speed: 8 --> 6 base, +1 Guardian Mindfulness, +1 item

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Dual Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L7 - Come and Get It (PHB)
L11 - Masterstroke (PHB)
L13 - Bash and Pummel (MP 2)
L17 - Vicious Uppercut (MP 2)

Daily Attack Powers:
L1 - Seize and Stab (MP 2)
L15
- Unyielding Avalanche (PHB)
L19 - Smash and Grab (MP)
L20 - Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Forceful Drag (MP 2)
L6 - Glowering Threat (HotFL)
L10 - Body Shield (MP 2)
L10 - Mighty Surge (D 379)
L12 - Ultimate Parry (PHB)

Skills:
Athletics (+24) --> +9 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +10 levels
Endurance (+21) --> +2 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +10 levels, +4 item
Heal (+18) --> +3 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +10 levels
Intimidate (+16) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +10 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Toughness (PHB)
L2 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L4 - Pin Down (D 368)
L6 - Master at Arms (HotFL)
L8 - World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK)
L10 - Improved Grab (PHB 2)
L11 - Improved Defenses (HotFL)
L12
- Persistent Threat (D 383)
L14 - Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB)
L18 - Weapon Focus (Unarmed) (PHB)
L20 - Brutal Brawler (MP 2)
L21 - Epic Fortitude (PHB 2)
L21 - Superior Initiative (PHB 3)

Changes:
+12 HP
Ability Score Boosts: +3 Strength (28), +1 Constitution (14), +1 Dexterity (16), +1 Intelligence (10), +1 Wisdom (16), +1 Charisma (12)
New Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian (D 387)
New Feats: Epic Fortitude (PHB 2), Superior Initiative (PHB 3) (replaces Improved Initiatve)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 800,000):
L22 (325,000 gp): +5 Dwarven Nagascale Armor (PHB)
L20 (125,000 gp):
Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L19 (105,000 gp): +4 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L18 (85,000 gp): +4 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 774,400 gp

Discussion:
More major upheaval occurs at this level: the Ceaseless Guardian Epic Destiny nets you a welcome Strength bonus as well as some extra speed, your Fortitude defense is bolstered in a major by the influx of the above mentioned Strength bonus, as well as the arrival of the Epic Fortitude and Robust Defenses feats, making you almost impossible to hurt with attacks targeting that defense, as well as making your grabs virtual death sentences. Last, but not least, you armor is upgraded at this level.


Level 22

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feats: Rapid Combat Challenge (D 387)
New Utility Power: Unyielding (MP)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,200,000):
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): +5 Dwarven Nagascale Armor (PHB)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L19 (105,000 gp): +4 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 1,114,400 gp

Changes:
At this level, you make good strides in your defending ability with the ability to tag two marked targets simultaneously, a Neck Slot Item upgrade, and a great way to respond to an attack against you in Unyielding.


Level 23

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Warrior's Urging (PHB) (replaces Come and Get It)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 1,600,000):
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): +5 Dwarven Nagascale Armor (PHB)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Casque of Tactics (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 1,534,400 gp

Changes:
At this level, you swap the awesome Come and Get It for the even more awesome Warrior's Urging, and you also upgrade your weapons here.


Level 24

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (29), +1 Wisdom (17)
New Feats: Crushing Grab (D 368), Martial Mastery (MP) (replaces Persistent Threat)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,100,000):
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): +5 Dwarven Nagascale Armor (PHB)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Battlestrider Greaves (PHB)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 1,938,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you put some investment in Strength and Wisdom, swap out the now obsolete Persistent Threat (thanks to the Ceaseless Guardian's L24 feature) for some sweet power recovery in Martial Mastery, put some genuine threat into your grabs with Crushing Grab, and upgrade your Head Slot item to the awesome Eye of Awareness.


Level 25

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power:
Relentless Headlock (MP 2) (replaces Seize and Stab)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 2,800,000):
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L22 (325,000 gp): +5 Dwarven Nagascale Armor (PHB)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 2,450,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up another punishing grab Daily in Relentless Headlock, and you upgrade your Feet Slot Item into the Boots of Caiphon.


Level 26

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Slashing Storm (MP 2)
New Utility Power: Always Ready (D 387)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 4,000,000):
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): +5 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 3,750,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up an excellent autodamage feat in Slashing Storm, a neat power in Always Ready, and your armor gets upgraded for the last time.


Level 27

Changes:
+6 HP
New Encounter Attack Power: Trollclaw Grip (MP 2) (replaces Bash and Pummel)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 6,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L16 (45,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 5,450,400 gp

Discussion:
Here, you upgrade your Neck Item for the last time, and you cap off your Encounter power list with the mighty Trollclaw Grip.


Level 28

Changes:
+7 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
Ability Score Boosts: +1 Strength (30), +1 Wisdom (18)
New Feat: Epic Will (PHB 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 8,000,000):
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 6,530,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you finally obtain the last boost in ability score modifiers, you shore up a weaker defense in Epic Will, and you pick up the final version of the Iron Armbands of Power for some welcome extra punch.


Level 29

Changes:
+6 HP
New Daily Attack Power: Force the Battle (PHB) (replaces Unyielding Avalanche)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 10,000,000):
L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): +5 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 9,155,400 gp

Discussion:
At this level, you pick up the incredible Force the Battle Daily power, as well as a quality item to reduce your action starvation and increase your survivability in the Ring of Free Time.


Level 30 Snapshot

Race: Human (PHB)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Combat Feature: Combat Superiority (PHB)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Kensei (PHB)
Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian (D 387)
Background: Auspicious Birth (D 366)

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Strength 30 (+10)
Constitution 14 (+2)
Dexterity 16 (+3)
Intelligence 10 (+0)
Wisdom 18 (+4)
Charisma 12 (+1)

HP: 234 --> 15 base, +174 levels, +30 Strength, +15 Toughness
Bloodied: 117 HP or less
Healing Surges: 11 --> 9 base, +2 Constitution
Healing Surge Value: 58 HP

AC: 47 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +13 armor, +6 enhancement, +1 feat, +1 shield, +1 Brawler Style
Fortitude: 56 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +10 ability (Strength), +6 enhancement, +4 Epic Fortitude, +3 Diamond Cincture, +3 feat, +2 class, +2 Brawler Style, +1 racial
Reflex: 45 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +3 ability (Dexterity), +6 enhancement, +4 Epic Reflexes, +3 feat, +2 Boots of Caiphon, +1 racial, +1 shield
Will: 45 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +4 ability (Wisdom), +6 enhancement, +4 Epic Will, +3 feat, +2 Eye of Awareness, +1 racial

Initiative: +31 --> +3 ability (Dexterity), +15 levels, +8 feat, +5 item

Speed: 7 --> 6 base, +1 Guardian Mindfulness

At-Will Attack Powers:
L1 - Dual Strike (MP)
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Attack Powers:
L11 - Masterstroke (PHB)
L17 - Vicious Uppercut (MP 2)
L23 - Trollclaw Grip (MP 2)
L23 - Warrior's Urging (PHB)

Daily Attack Powers:
L19 - Smash and Grab (MP)
L20 - Weaponsoul Dance (PHB)
L25 - Relentless Headlock (MP 2)
L29
- Force the Batle (PHB)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Forceful Drag (MP 2)
L6 - Glowering Threat (HotFL)
L10 - Body Shield (MP 2)
L10 - Mighty Surge (D 379)
L12 - Ultimate Parry (PHB)
L22 - Unyielding (MP)
L26 - Always Ready (D 387)

Skills:
Athletics (+30) --> +10 ability (Strength), +5 trained, +15 levels
Endurance (+28) --> +2 ability (Constitution), +5 trained, +15 levels, +6 item
Heal (+24) --> +4 ability (Wisdom), +5 trained, +15 levels
Intimidate (+21) --> +1 ability (Charisma), +5 trained, +15 levels

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L1 - Toughness (PHB)
L2 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L4 - Pin Down (D 368)
L6 - Master at Arms (HotFL)
L8 - World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK)
L10 - Improved Grab (PHB 2)
L11 - Improved Defenses (HotFL)
L14 - Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB)
L18 - Weapon Focus (Unarmed) (PHB)
L21 - Epic Fortitude (PHB 2)
L21 - Superior Initiative (PHB 3)
L22 - Rapid Combat Challenge (D 387)
L24 - Crushing Grab (D 368)
L24 - Martial Mastery (MP)
L26 - Slashing Storm (MP 2)
L28 - Epic Will (PHB 2)
L30 - Epic Reflexes (PHB 2)

Changes:
+6 HP
+1 to attacks, defenses, and checks
New Feat: Epic Reflexes (PHB 2)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets (AV)
L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Elderscale Armor (PHB)
L26 (1,125,000 gp): Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
TOTAL: 14,255,400 gp

Discussion:
Welcome to the summit of your power. All your toys have been bought, all your magic items have been upgraded, and you can actually expect to hold on to a god for a decent period of time. Enjoy the fruits of all your hard work.



Build Goal and Tactics

The goal of this build is to be a lockdown Defender. To accomplish this, it employs an unorthodox but powerful strategy, which is to grab his opponent and force him to stay adjacent. To successfully pull this off, it raises its Fortitude defense to soaring heights, and also employs the Brawling Fighter's excellent free hand fighting style. Toss in a way to suppress teleportation and it's pretty apparent no one is getting away from this Fighter once he's established a hold.

This build's tactics are generally to rush in (via a high spot on the initiative order) and lock down an opponent via a grab power. Then, it employs other powers to knock the enemy prone and drag him across the battlefield, either to set him up for your allies to take down or so you can engage another enemy and lock him down as well. Don't think it's all about control here, though: the Brawler power line actually has a few offensive gems available to it, so you can enjoy punching your opponent in the face.

Questions, thoughts, and comments are welcome.
Variants

The Butcher



This variant (contributed by Tatzu) takes a slightly different tack from Beowulf in that it trades in the multitarget abilities and some of the inescapability for the power to grab a target, knock it down, and then savage it with heavy personal damage. It also has the perk of setting up its allies for extra damage as well.

Build Summary

Race: Longtooth Shifter (PHB 2)
Class: Fighter (PHB)
Combat Feature: Combat Superiority (PHB)
Fighter Talent: Brawler Style (MP 2)
Paragon Path: Moonstalker (PHB 2)
Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian (D 387)

Ability Scores:
L1 - Str 18, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 10
L4 - Str 19, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 17, Cha 10
L8 - Str 20, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 18, Cha 10
L11 - Str 21, Con 14, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 19, Cha 11
L14 - Str 22, Con 14, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 20, Cha 11
L18 - Str 23, Con 14, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 21, Cha 11
L21 - Str 26, Con 15, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 12
L24 - Str 27, Con 15, Dex 17, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 12
L28 - Str 28, Con 15, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 12

Feats:
L1 - Inescapable Hold (MP 2)
L2 - Brawler Guard (MP 2)
L4 - Pin Down (D 368)
L6 - Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blades) (PHB 2)
L8 - Mobile Challenge (D 378)
L10 - Improved Grab (PHB 2)
L11 - Paragon Defenses (PHB 2)
L12 - Improved Initiative (PHB)
L14 - Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB)
L16 - Headsman's Chop (PHB 3)
L18 - Weapon Master (D 382)
L20 - Weapon Focus (Heavy Blades) (PHB)
L21 - Epic Fortitude (PHB 2)
L21 - Robust Defenses (PHB 2) (replaces Paragon Defenses)
L22 - Rapid Combat Challenge (D 387)
L22 - Superior Initiative (PHB 3) (replaces Improved Initiative)
L23 - Mobile Warrior (MP) (replaces Mobile Challenge)
L24 - Crushing Grab (D 368)
L26 - Slashing Storm (MP 2)
L28 - Martial Mastery (MP)
L30 - Epic Reflexes (PHB 2)

At-Will Powers:
L1 - Grappling Strike (MP 2)
L1 - Knockdown Assault (PHH 1)

Encounter Powers:
L1 - Steel Serpent Strike (PHB)
L3 - Bull Charge (MP 2)
L7 - Come and Get It (PHB)
L11 - Call to the Moon (PHB 2)
L13 - Bash and Pummel (MP 2) (replaces Steel Serpent Strike)
L17 - Vicious Uppercut (MP 2) (replaces Bull Charge)
L23 - Warrior's Urging (PHB) (replaces Come and Get It)
L27 - Trollclaw Grip (MP 2) (replaces Bash and Pummel)

Daily Powers:
L1 - Seize and Stab (MP 2)
L5 - Rain of Steel (PHB)
L9 - Jackal Strike (MP)
L15 - Unyielding Avalanche (PHB) (replaces Rain of Steel)
L19 - Smash and Grab (MP) (replaces Seize and Stab)
L25 - Relentless Headlock (MP 2) (replaces Jackal Strike)
L29 - Force the Battle (PHB) (replaces Relentless Headlock)

Utility Powers:
L2 - Forceful Drag (MP 2)
L6 - Makeshift Shield (MP 2)
L10 - Body Shield (MP 2)
L10 - Mighty Surge (D 379)
L12 - Unleash the Silent Predator (PHB 2)
L22 - Unyielding (MP)
L26 - Always Ready (D 387)

Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Radiant Longsword (AV)
L30 (3,125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Titanscale Armor (PHB)
L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
L23 (425,000 gp):
Eye of Awareness (AV)
L23 (425,000 gp):
Siberys Shard of Radiance (Epic Tier) (EPG)
L17 (65,000 gp):
Ring of the Radiant Storm (AV)
L14 (21,000 gp): Counterstrike Guards (Paragon Tier) (AV)
L12 (13,000 gp):
Stone of Earth (AV 2)
L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (AV)
L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
TOTAL: 14,117,200 gp

Combat Challenge and Opportunity Attacks

A big part of a Fighter's effectiveness is how powerful their mark punishment is, so we will be looking at this build's Combat Challenge and opportunity attacks to determine how powerful the disincentive for disobeying the Fighter is.

Combat Challenge Attacks



Level 1

Melee Basic Attack: +9 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6+5 damage
Critical: 11 damage


Level 11

Melee Basic Attack: +19 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6+10 damage
Critical: 2d6+16 damage


Level 21

Melee Basic Attack: +30 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+24 damage
Critical: 4d6+40 damage


Level 30

Melee Basic Attack: +37 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+29 damage
Critical: 6d6+45 damage


Opportunity Attacks



Level 1

Grappling Strike: +10 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6+5 damage, and the target is grabbed
Critical: 11 damage, and the target is grabbed


Level 11

Grapling Strike: +20 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6+10 damage, and the target is grabbed
Critical: 2d6+16 damage, and the target is grabbed


Level 21

Grappling Strike: +33 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+24 damage, and the target is grabbed
Critical: 4d6+40 damage, and the target is grabbed


Level 30

Melee Basic Attack: +41 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8+29 damage, and the target is grabbed
Critical: 6d6+45, and the target is grabbed


Miscellaneous: Character Builder Summary


CB Summary

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

LDB Beowulf, Master of Grabs, level 30

Human, Fighter, Kensei, Ceaseless Guardian

Build: Brawling Fighter

Fighter: Combat Superiority

Fighter Talents: Brawler Style

Kensei Focus: Kensei Focus Unarmed attack

Guardian Mindfulness: Guardian Mindfulness Strength

 

FINAL ABILITY SCORES

Str 30, Con 14, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 12.

 

STARTING ABILITY SCORES

Str 18, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10.

 

 

AC: 46 Fort: 57 Reflex: 44 Will: 44

HP: 218 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 54

 

TRAINED SKILLS

Intimidate +21, Heal +24, Endurance +28, Athletics +30

 

UNTRAINED SKILLS

Acrobatics +18, Arcana +15, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +19, History +15, Insight +19, Nature +19, Perception +19, Religion +15, Stealth +18, Streetwise +16, Thievery +18

 

FEATS

Human: Inescapable Hold

Level 1: Toughness

Level 2: Brawler Guard

Level 4: Pin Down

Level 6: Weapon Expertise (Unarmed)

Level 8: Mobile Challenge

Level 10: Improved Grab

Level 11: Paragon Defenses (retrained to Robust Defenses at Level 21)

Level 12: Persistent Threat (retrained to Martial Mastery at Level 24)

Level 14: Armor Specialization (Scale)

Level 16: Improved Initiative (retrained to Superior Initiative at Level 22)

Level 18: Weapon Focus (Unarmed)

Level 20: Brutal Brawler (retrained to Marked Takedown at Level 23)

Level 21: Epic Fortitude

Level 22: Rapid Combat Challenge

Level 24: Crushing Grab

Level 26: Slashing Storm

Level 28: Epic Will

Level 30: Epic Reflexes

 

POWERS

Bonus At-Will Power: Dual Strike

Fighter at-will 1: Knockdown Assault

Fighter at-will 1: Grappling Strike

Fighter encounter 1: Hack and Hew

Fighter daily 1: Villain's Menace

Fighter utility 2: Forceful Drag

Fighter encounter 3: Bull Charge

Fighter daily 5: Bare-Knuckled Rebuke

Fighter utility 6: Daring Shot

Fighter encounter 7: Come and Get It

Fighter daily 9: Rain of Steel

Fighter utility 10: Body Shield (Fighter)

Fighter encounter 13: Bash and Pummel (replaces Hack and Hew)

Fighter daily 15: Unyielding Avalanche (replaces Villain's Menace)

Fighter utility 16: Mighty Surge

Fighter encounter 17: Vicious Uppercut (replaces Bull Charge)

Fighter daily 19: Smash and Grab (replaces Rain of Steel)

Fighter utility 22: Unyielding

Fighter encounter 23: Warrior's Urging (replaces Come and Get It)

Fighter daily 25: Relentless Headlock (replaces Bare-Knuckled Rebuke)

Fighter encounter 27: Trollclaw Grip (replaces Bash and Pummel)

Fighter daily 29: Force the Battle (replaces Relentless Headlock)

 

ITEMS

Diamond Cincture (epic tier), Feyslaughter Spiked gauntlet +6, Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Steadfast Amulet +6, Dwarven Titanscale Armor +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Boots of Caiphon (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Stone of Earth (paragon tier), Dice of Auspicious Fortune (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier)

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Looks brutal.
Awesome build. Glad to see it get posted, after what feels like over a month of marinating.

This is one of my favorite Defenders, largely because the flavor is sweeeeet to me. The crunch obviously doesn't suck, either
Another great looking and very effective build.  I love defenders of all stripes and this is no exception.  Looks like a fun build to play.
This guy approves:

haggar.jpg
Now, I'm showing my noobishness here, but isn't playing a defender with Reflex and Will that low kind of, well, terrifyingly risky? In no way do I deny that this guy can grab someone and absolutely command their attention (in a very fun manner), but what about your victim's friends who want to do bad things to you until you let their buddy go? Am I overstating the problem, did I miss a way around it, or is this a concern?
Now, I'm showing my noobishness here, but isn't playing a defender with Reflex and Will that low kind of, well, terrifyingly risky? In no way do I deny that this guy can grab someone and absolutely command their attention (in a very fun manner), but what about your victim's friends who want to do bad things to you until you let their buddy go? Am I overstating the problem, did I miss a way around it, or is this a concern?


It's not any different from your typical STR/CON Brash Striking Execution Axe Fighter. Or even an Earthstrength Warden.

Fortitude: 54 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +10 ability (Strength), +6 enhancement, +4 Epic Fortitude, +2 class, +2 feat, +2 Brawler Style, +2 Diamond Cincture, +1 racial



Diamond Cincture (epic tiers) gives a +3 bonus not a +2

He still has the Paragon Tier version at Lv. 30. Which is a pretty normal occurrence in most builds, by the way.

Fortitude: 54 --> 10 base, +15 levels, +10 ability (Strength), +6 enhancement, +4 Epic Fortitude, +2 class, +2 feat, +2 Brawler Style, +2 Diamond Cincture, +1 racial




Diamond Cincture (epic tiers) gives a +3 bonus not a +2


That isn't an error, he can't afford the epic version.
This guy approves:




I approve of what this guy approves.

Not much else I can say, honestly. This is more or less the final stroke of legitimacy the brawler fighter needed after the ultra-lackluster reception it had. Good work!
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Lordduskblade, why dual strike and not a net with Cleave and deft hurler? slow + ranged options?

I made a build here, and I'd appeciate your comment. community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Anyway, your ideas are great. Thanks for your handbooks.
Magical spiked gauntlets take up your hand slot. Can't have them and any gloves, let alone 2 spiked gauntlets (each enchanted one takes up a hand slot, only have one).

I'm working on a similar build, with quite a few variations.
In the level summaries I see a mention of things that protect against daze/stun and teleporting enemies, but I didn't see something to protect against forced movement applied to either you or your grabbed foes, which is another way enemies can break a grab.  Grappler's Stance, to restrain your grabbed enemies, can help with one part.  There are a few different items that can cancel forced movement on you, but I don't know what you're willing to make room for on the character.

You can deal with not being able to wear two magic spiked gauntlets by using a weapon in your main hand; if you take Versatile Expertise instead of weapon expertise, you can get unarmed and another weapon type.  You could go with a one handed spear so you could take Grasping and still be able to grab with both hands, or you could take a Feyslaughter longsword and only be able to grab one creature at a time but otherwise have a similar setup to what you have now.

This is a really nice build and approach to the "ultimate defender" concept with a controller's rib.


I'm willing to run it on my next game, but I have one question.


How is the item progression without fluid wealth?

Okay, plenty of comments! Time to address them.

@Litigation:
I approve greatly of Haggar pic. Added to the post.

@RayjeEliwan: Not particularly. It has a variety of powers to prevent any bad status effects that could result from getting hit in Reflex or Will, and it has the HP and surges to hold up, especially considering Fortitude is so high (and that's usually where the real painful effects show up).

@MainBrain: Mostly no feat room. I am just barely able to afford all the feats I want, and going for Flails as an additional group, and then taking Deft Hurler takes a lot away from what I wanted to accomplish with the build.

@ChaosMage: That's the beauty of having a huge Fortitude; a lot of forced movement effects target it, so I'm not too worried about my ability to defend against it pretty much by default. If it proves to be a problem, I can see myself taking some steps to guard against it.

@Rathyr: That seems like a rather arbitrary restriction. Why on earth would you be unable to dual wield magical spiked gauntlets? Unless the gauntlets come in pairs (which would be a godsend for me, as I could then afford the Epic Tier Diamond Cincture), I see no reason why I can't do that. Either way, it's not a big deal, since Brawler Style gives me an enhancement bonus to hit already; I could just keep one gauntlet enchanted and one plain.

@Daemonfey: Without fluid wealth, it would be fairly similar. Since you get an enhancement bonus to hit from your class feature, I suggest getting miscellaneous items first, armor second, neck third, first gauntlet fourth, second gauntlet last for any given 5-level progression cycle after level 5 (11-15, for example).
In the level summaries I see a mention of things that protect against daze/stun and teleporting enemies, but I didn't see something to protect against forced movement applied to either you or your grabbed foes, which is another way enemies can break a grab.  Grappler's Stance, to restrain your grabbed enemies, can help with one part.  There are a few different items that can cancel forced movement on you, but I don't know what you're willing to make room for on the character.

You can deal with not being able to wear two magic spiked gauntlets by using a weapon in your main hand; if you take Versatile Expertise instead of weapon expertise, you can get unarmed and another weapon type.  You could go with a one handed spear so you could take Grasping and still be able to grab with both hands, or you could take a Feyslaughter longsword and only be able to grab one creature at a time but otherwise have a similar setup to what you have now.




While he doesn't have particular items to protect against such things, he does have a pretty significant passive defense against many of those effects in the form of his bloated Fort. Many attacks which cause forced movement target that particular defense. At L30, even with increased accuracy, most monsters are going to be looking at about +35 vs Fort, max. That's going to give them a pretty rough time moving him around.

Granted, not all forced movement powers attack Fort, but I believe the majority of them do.
After further review and conference with my fellows in the ##4e channel, we have come to the conclusion that purchasing magic spiked gauntlets gets me a pair of gauntlets, not just one. I will be redoing wealth accordingly.
After further review and conference with my fellows in the ##4e channel, we have come to the conclusion that purchasing magic spiked gauntlets gets me a pair of gauntlets, not just one. I will be redoing wealth accordingly.


I'm not following the logic behind this. Can you explain?


Also, I've been thinking with a non-fluid wealth model, and I think that with it the damage just *plumpets*. Can you explain in more detail how you would do that at level 16, since I'm probably going to test the build at this level?

This guy approves:




Mayor Mike Haggar!
The only man manly enough to force suspenders and a belt to have a baby, because neither of them was manly enough for his pants by themselves.
May I humbly suggest this guy: SSF4 Hakan

SSF4 Hakan
I like Carrotman Hakan, but Haggar has the O.G. rep on his side.

@Daemonfey: The logic was that the Spiked Gauntlet-exclusive enchantments are all described as being distributed in pairs, and (as Rathyr mentioned) it would otherwise be impossible to dual-wield them, because one of them would occupy your Hands Item Slot. It's not as cut-and-dry as I like my rulings to be, but it's good enough for me.

Let's conjure up an L16 Brawler with non-fluid wealth, shall we?

L17 item - +4 Dwarven Wyrmscale Armor.
L16 item - Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier).
L15 item - +3 Feyslaughter Spiked Gauntlets. (slightly $$$-inefficient, but c'est la vie).
L15 GP (25,000):
17,000 - +3 Steadfast Amulet
5,000 - Diamond Cincture (Heroic Tier)
840 - Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier)
2,000 - Healing Potions, I would recommend.

A bit bare-bones, but the mandatory pieces are all there.
What are your thoughts about picking Shock Trooper instead of Kensei? The bigger spiked gauntlet die end the little damage increase from quicker death pretty much make up for the Kensai damage bonus (especially in epic when all your attacks are 2[W] and above), and Shocking Twister is way more powerful than Masterstroke. Does that +1 attack still matter so much even in the expertise era? I mean... really, shocking twister is like every melee's wet dream... multiattack, with ability to damage, with included mobility bonus, with included accuracy bonus, with daze as an encounter power.
Shock Trooper instead of Kensei is a good option, but it doesn't have quite the same spice, because this build is more about the control than it is about the damage (and the die size increase has to get to 4[W] to break even by itself, and Quicker Death is only once per turn). I need the bonus to hit, because I don't get the accuracy bonus from Weapon Talent.

It's a nice variant to consider if we decide to emphasize damage, though.
What's your opinion using Eternal Defender to wield a garrote 1 handed?  The extra penalty to escape your grabs would be nice, and combat advantage is always good.  Plus, you'd be able to wield a large spiked gauntlet in the other hand.

I suppose a natable downside is the loss of your multiclass, but then again you could get alot of goodness out a Fighter|Rogue with that trick.  Riposte Strike against a target with really nothing better to do that attack you because he's grabbed?  Sounds fun.
What's your opinion using Eternal Defender to wield a garrote 1 handed?  The extra penalty to escape your grabs would be nice, and combat advantage is always good.  Plus, you'd be able to wield a large spiked gauntlet in the other hand.

I suppose a natable downside is the loss of your multiclass, but then again you could get alot of goodness out a Fighter|Rogue with that trick.  Riposte Strike against a target with really nothing better to do that attack you because he's grabbed?  Sounds fun.



Yeah, sounds fun.

Though with the right brawler feat and the Vicious Advantage feat, can't you maintain CA without having to resort to the Garrote?  The -2 penalty to escape would be nice though.

When I looked at Brawler-Rogue, I was having a hard time getting AC high enough to be happy with...at least early in Heroic.
"The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23
I'm not as big a fan of Eternal Defender, though I did consider it before. The garrote's extra feat required is also a bit of a problem. Ceaseless Guardian prevents daze or stun from messing with grabs, and even the speed bonus is good.
The build I'm working on is a garrote (one hand) wielding, spiked gauntlet in the other, Fighter|Rogue Hybrid.  The concept is you grab a guy then use Risposte Strike.  Since it's not like he'll be able to escape the grab, he'll be forced to either make a ranged attack vs one of my buddies, earning him an OA, or attack me, earning the riposte, which is nearly as bad.

I'm thinking right now that I'd go eternal seeker instead of defender: I'd still get the key ability to 1-hand the garrote (albiet somewhat later) but I'd also be able to grab giant's might, for when there's something that's normally too big to grab.  I'm not 100% sure what other classes powers might be useful to take with the build, to take advantage of the seeker's major benefit.  I had recalled there's a barbarian rage that's grab related, but I need to so some research.
You know, I was pretty sure Hagar looked like  surbrook.devermore.net/adaptationscomic/...
After further review and conference with my fellows in the ##4e channel, we have come to the conclusion that purchasing magic spiked gauntlets gets me a pair of gauntlets, not just one. I will be redoing wealth accordingly.



I'm not following the logic behind this. Can you explain?



I always assumed they came in pairs as well.  Tigerclaw Gauntlets, for instance, is clearly a plural.  Since that's the only spiked gauntlet specific weapon enchant (at least, that I can think of offhand), I'd say it sets the precedent.


You could say it's a little overpowered to be able to essentially buy paired weapons for the price of one magic item, but seeing as you can do the same thing with a double weapon at the same cost as a single weapon, it seems reasonable.

This seems correct, but it's a fluff distinction.  You have to understand that they still only count as one weapon for the purposes of powers like dual strike.  To behave in the way you seem to be suggesting, they'd have to be a double weapon.
One thing I notice in the build is a lack of any ability to grab things larger than large.  Are we operating under the assumption that powers which allow the fighter to grab the target ignore the size restriction?

I'm not 100% on that, if so.  Seems to me the same logic that requires rogues to have total concealment when a power allows them to make a stealth check would require a fighter to meet the normal size requirements of the grab.  There would be a difference, however, between "you grab the target" (which in mind requires normal conditions to be met) and "the target is grabbed" (which IMO might not)

Still, doesn't seem cut and dry.

While we're on the subject of grab-rule logistics, what's the current thinking on the use of garrotes on powers which allow for grabs?

My thinking is, that since garrotes are clearly supposed to work for the garrote power-swaps, and the wording is no different from the various grappling powers, a garrote should apply its penalties to grabs made as long as you were somehow (Eternal Defender) capable of meeting the "hands free" requirement.

I just wish garrotes made more sense, rules-wise.
All grab powers bypass the restriction of the grab action, because they say "you grab the target", not "you make a grab attack against the target". You have skipped the phase where it's target specific.

Eternal Defender would be the only real way to use a garrote for these powers, unless some clarification ruling comes out to allow for it to count as a free hand + weapon combo for the purposes of these powers.
It doesn't work for the powers.  It does work for the purposes of maintaining brawler bonuses while you have the enemy grabbed, however - you are both wielding a weapon and grabbing an enemy.
Thanks for putting this together LDB. I've been toying with a very similar idea for a while for my next LFR defender. I will probably use a lot of this template in my own build - in fact, any changes will likely be a result of new content.
All grab powers bypass the restriction of the grab action, because they say "you grab the target", not "you make a grab attack against the target". You have skipped the phase where it's target specific.



Not saying you're wrong, but how is this different from restrictions on powers that allow you to hide?  Has CS ruled on this (for whatever their opinion is worth)
The powers that allow you to hide allow you to make a Stealth check in order to hide. They do not make you hidden by default. The grab powers skip right to the result.
I really like this build and have used it extensively as a reference to the variant build I have been working on that I mentioned in the Fighter Handbook thread.  A variant based on grabbing a single target and really punishing that target with things like Headsman's Chop and the Warden ED Perfect Guardian.  The feats are the place where I feel there is the most room to adjust the build.  Here in no particular order are the feats I think I will end up with by 30.  I am planning on being Human for the extra feat. I am just looking for some comments and outside opinions on my choices.

Feat List

Inescapable Hold
Pin Down
Brawler Gaurd
Headsman's Chop
Improved Grab
Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Cruel Cut Style
Armor Specialization (Scale)
Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Marked Scourge
Heavy Blade Opportunity
Defender of the Wild
Epic Fortitude
Robust Defenses
Crushing Grab
Slashing Storm
Martial Resolve
Epic Will
Epic Reflexes

One main note. Currently the plan is to go Pit fighter.  Dirty Fighting doesn't work on MBA's since the errata so the Cruel Cut style is a way to use a fighter power for my attacks each round and gain the most I can seem to find.  There is some obvious use of retraining but it should work fine with the build.


Thanks for any feedback I can get.
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